[UPDATE] 4-2-11 7:33 PM --
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is extending his deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif by protesters enraged by the burning of a Koran in Florida.
Obama says desecration of the Koran "is an act of extreme
intolerance and bigotry."
But he says that does not justify attacking and killing innocent people, calling it "outrageous and an affront to human decency and dignity."
Eleven were killed Friday, including seven foreign U.N. employees.
And Afghans rioted for a second day Saturday, killing nine people in Kandahar and injuring more than 80.
Obama said in a statement that no religion tolerates "the slaughter and beheading of innocent people."
He said now was a time to draw upon the common humanity of all.
At least five people have been killed in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Saturday (April 2) the second day of violent protests over the burning of a Koran by an obscure U.S. pastor, a health official and government spokesman said.
Four dead bodies brought to a hospital in Kandahar city, the spiritual heartland of the Taliban, showed signs they had been beaten and hit with stones said Abdul Qayum Pukhla, the senior health official for the province.
A band of around 150 men who had taken to the streets to denounce Koran burning set tyres alight, smashed up shops and attacked a photographer, Reuters' witnesses said.
The reporter was hit over the head and had his camera taken from him and smashed, by protesters who discussed killing him. Police kept other journalists from approaching the crowd, which was shouting slogans including "death to America".
The spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province said the protest was organised by the Taliban who used the Koran burning as an excuse to incite violence in a city where their reach has been curtailed by an aggressive NATO-led military campaign.
A suicide attack also hit a NATO military base in the capital Kabul, the day after protesters over-ran a UN mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed seven foreign staff; in the worst ever attack on the UN in Afghanistan.
The Taliban said they had no role in Friday's assault on the U.N. office in the usually peaceful northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, after both the provincial governor and a senior U.N. official suggested provocateurs among the crowd had sparked or led the vicious attack.